4 out of 4 stars
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AS life continues to become a puzzle to some people and a fun to others, the number of self-help books available in any one’s disposal attempting to demystify the facets of life increases each day that pass. Most of them seem to recycle the same message through a careful repackaging. I expected something similar when I decided to read Rob White’s book And then I Met Margaret: Stories of Personal Transformation. This book is a collection of twenty-one stories inspired by twenty-one myths that the author, Rob White, had held since his boyhood to later adulthood and how he deconstructed each of the myths to arrive at the realities he discovered later.
Born and brought up in a small poor town as he reveals in the introduction, Rob White surprised everyone including himself by the successes he accomplished. Making money and meeting Margaret being part of the great transformational journey. From an ordinary poor boy to a schoolteacher and later to a real estate business guru, Rob White dares to display his own life for the present and the future generations to learn from it. A life characterized by: struggles, shame, travails, disappointments, terrible failure on one side and loyalty, accolades, lessons, achievements, zeal, and success on the other.
I was impressed by the design and arrangement of each chapter where each start with a general title and a myth immediately. Rob white then narrates a real life experience that rhymes with each myth. Each narrative reveal some truth to the author, which he refers to as the reality at the end of each chapter. At the beginning of each chapter, the author is a student of life but at the end of it, he is a teacher of life as he testifies in chapter 14, “… there’s no better teacher than experience. But, eventually you must become your own instructor if you plan to win.” I like the fact that Rob White does not allow the newly acquired reality to remain underutilized. We see the application of each truth at the end of each chapter. New ‘students’ get inducted into the acquired reality.
There is one chapter in particular that I was unable to resist the temptation from reading more than once. Chapter 7 will stick more in my mind longer on how Rob White addresses the vice called ‘cheating’. The myth that ‘cheating is sometimes the only way to beat the system and win’ is admonished in this chapter in a hilarious manner. Humorously, the author narrates how Pete, his English Literature course mate, introduced him to the art of exam cheating. As I read this chapter, it was almost impossible for me to abstain from laughing at the woes and bad luck of the author narrating how his brief pride as a fresh university comrade was at the brink of falling apart. The reality that ‘win without compromising self-integrity or there is no win’ which he discovered as the chapter ends saved him from the wrath of ‘Mr. Executioner’, the no-nonsense English professor whose real name was Dr. Tucker.
I must point out that apart from the fact that my expectations were frustrated upon learning that Margaret was not Rob White’s wife, I found the book to be great. I came across no typo error. The editing was great and for these reasons, I am rating it 4 out of 4 stars. Although it is a non-fiction book, I am recommending it to anybody who is willing to improve different aspects of their lives especially on career and entrepreneurship.
And Then I Met Margaret
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